South Florida philanthropist, University of Miami Board of Trustees member and lover of ‘The U’, Florence Hecht has passed away. Mrs. Hecht died in her sleep on Friday night of natural causes. She was ninety-five.
Words can’t describe what the Hecht family has done for UM. Her late husband Isadore Hecht has his name adorned on the Athletic Center while Mrs. Hecht was honored with the Florence Ruth Hecht Residential College – the institution’s first residential college back in 1986.
The Hecht family even helped out the “enemy” in Tallahassee as The Hecht House on Florida State’s campus is named after Mrs. Hecht.
“She never feared a man or a beast,” said grandson, Izzy Havenick. He described his grandmother as “courageous and determined.”
“She would say ‘be honest in what you do and you will achieve anything you want.’ And that’s exactly what she did.”
“Florence was larger than life, tough as nails,’’said Leonard Abess, Chair of the UM Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “In the half century I knew her she always demanded I do my best and no one said no to Florence.”
“Florence was a colorful, intelligent and strong woman,’’said University of Miami President Donna Shalala. “Together with her remarkable family, she helped shape the history of the University and our South Florida community. We will all miss her.”
A funeral service will be 1pm this Sunday at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach, not far from the Jewish Museum of Florida, which Mrs. Hecht helped establish in 1973.
UM will fly its flags half-mast through Sunday in honor of a special woman who truly bled orange and green.
Thank you for all your contributions and your love for this university, “Front Row Flo”.